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No One Is Lost
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Jesse Zubot (strings).
  • Audio Mixer: Tony Hoffer.
  • Recording information: Vancouver, B.C. Canada; Zed Productions, Vancouver, B.C.; Zoomer, Montreal; Zoomer, Montreal, Canada.
  • Throughout their 15-year career, Canadian outfit Stars have delivered a consistent output of quality indie pop, always owning their own sound as trends came and went around them. Whether they're working in shimmering synth tones, introspective acoustic songs, or warm-hearted guitar pop, a Stars album almost reliably sounds like a Stars album, and that's no small feat. Their identity is built on heartfelt, personal songcraft, a fluent pop vocabulary, and the dueling voices of singers Amy Millan and Torquil Campbell. For their seventh album, 2014's No One Is Lost, the Montreal band set themselves up in a new clubhouse, building a studio in a rented apartment above a gay discotheque called The Royal Phoenix. The nightclub throb of their adopted environment became a major influence resulting in disco-inspired tracks like the lovely "From the Night" and the epic title cut, but where other bands might take this theme simply as an excuse to write a set of dancefloor bangers, Stars keep it intimate, approaching these songs with the sincerity they've become known for. If there's an overall theme to No One Is Lost, it's the battle contained within the oxymoronic album title. The band know that everyone is indeed lost, a point that was emphasized when they received the news that their longtime manager and friend Eoin O Leary had been diagnosed with cancer. This struggle between despair and the vibrant, often desperate late-night celebrations of life going on in the club below them became the real beating heart of this album which boasts tender, upbeat rockers like "This Is the Last Time" and "Are You OK?" alongside bittersweet ballads like "What Is to Be Done?" and "A Stranger." Stars' dedication to genuine human emotions married to strong pop melodicism has stayed with them since day one and No One Is Lost is merely another chapter in their unique story. However they dress up their music, it remains easy to connect with and this album proves it. ~ Timothy Monger
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